Now that we’ve added a new term to our vocabularies and weathered the wild winds and brutal temperatures of the past week and its “bomb cyclone,” it’s time to reflect on the awe-inspiring survival strategies of our backyard birds and the role we can play in their welfare.
The recent polar vortex had its grip on the Upper Delaware River and the entire region. Most of our rivers are now iced in, and fly fishing is out of the question without distant travel. It will be a long time before we wade again and scan the Delaware’s pools for rising trout.
I can’t tell you the name of the show, or the network, or the stars I may have played next to, but I can give you a glimpse inside the day of a background player on a TV series being made on the set of a major studio in New York City.
Sitting at my desk trying not to listen to the drip, drip, drip of the kitchen faucet (you all know why) behind me, my mind wanders as I steel myself for the task at hand… cleaning up the desktop files from the previous year and preparing to begin anew.
If asked about winter raptor watching, the first thing that would pop into mind is eagles. This region is one of the favorite wintering habitats for Canadian bald eagles in the Northeast, and that’s not counting the ever increasing number of resident bald eagles that stay in the area year-round.
A recent illness gave me the experience of viewing a different form of transportation from the back of an Ambulet van. My condition was an arthritic infection in my right wrist. Thank goodness for a very astute wife who, in her RN experience, realized it was more than a sprained wrist and insisted we are going to the ER to get it checked out.
The instant that I picked up the phone I knew I was in trouble. “Go out on a Monday?” I barked into the receiver. “What, are you crazy? It’s a school night!” The caller was gal pal Jamee Schleifer and the reason for her inquiry was simple.
I recently received an email message from The Wilderness Society highlighting the “biggest wilderness milestones in 2017.” Unfortunately, most were the dismal and disturbing actions taken by our nation’s current administration to dismantle or eliminate hard-won environmental policies and protections, beginning in January with “scrubbing” mention
Just after Thanksgiving I hauled out the laundry basket I keep in my bedroom closet that holds all the Christmas stuff: curling ribbon and scraps of left-over wrapping paper, candles, the crèche set and spare cards.
[Peace and Justice Files columnist Skip Mendler is wrapping up a year of travel in Europe, and is returning to the states in January of 2018.]
“Survival is not enough.”
— Station Eleven
Let me share three data points: